10th & 11th


Nov 10th – thankful we live in Santa Barbara, especially on days like today when I spent the morning hiking and then Selah and I went to the Natural History Museum this afternoon (Jesse has volleyball out of town so is gone). We are blessed to have yearly admission to the zoo, museum (courtesy of my mom), sea center, and botanical garden and more weeks than not, we visit two out of the four. The weather is mild, we have the beach, the mountains, are not too far from lakes, and are within driving & reasonable flying distance from a lot of cool spots. Thankful to call this home for the past 12 years!


Nov 11th – thankful for food! I’m thankful I’m able to feed my family not only enough to keep them healthy, but also a variety, which is far more than most in the world have. In fact, I remember distinctly in Nicaragua that the kids don’t really even understand the question, “What is your favorite food?” because they don’t ever get a choice – any food is their favorite because it means they have a meal. And today I’m on the opposite end of the spectrum, receiving at my doorstep a fresh box of local, organic produce that comes every other week. How rich and how thankful I am!
So to make room for the new loot, I used up “leftover” veggies in the fridge and threw together a crockpot of random vegetables plus the last of my amazing canned tomatoes from Nana & Papa for a pretty darn good pasta sauce!

Selah actually even ate it on spaghetti and I hid spinach, carrots, and zucchini in there! Score one for mommy! 😉

Then tonight after she went to bed, I threw together some homemade strawberry applesauce and baked strawberry muffins for breakfast, using apples from my mom and some ‘on the verge’ fresh strawberries I wanted to use up.
Strawberry applesauce pre-cooking:

Finishing it off in the Vitamix since I kept the skins on for the vitamins:

Muffins before & after:



Lots to be thankful for – including a nice win against #1 ranked Alabama by my Texas Aggies as well! 😉

Carving & Cookies

Other Halloween “prep” items included carving pumpkins & decorating cookies (don’t ask why I thought it was a good idea to make cookies on a holiday where candy is handed out…silly Mommy).

The cookies went over better than the carving, to say the least…

Here’s some pics of both. (More of the cookies, because the attention span was much longer for that activity!)

Hmmm…what to carve, what to carve?
Ewwww…wash my hands!

After the “cleaning” part, Selah was done. No getting hands dirty for her – she just isn’t into it. Whose kid is she – neither Jesse nor I have a problem getting dirty, so not sure where this fear of messiness comes from?! 😉 Thank goodness Daddy finished off the pumpkins for us…

The end result

The cookies were the real fun!

One for the cookie, two for Selah…
Sugar high kicking in….now!
Much better attention span here
Can you possibly fit any more candy onto a cookie?!

Next up – Selah the Ballerina goes trick-or-treating! 🙂

Trick or Treat


All lit up

So, Selah picked out her outfit this year. She wanted “ballerina princess”…and Mommy & Daddy tried to sway her away, but she has a mind of her own. We even tried suggesting Minnie Mouse or other less “girlie” characters that she likes, but nope – she’s a princess and she knows it…I guess. So, Mommy gave in and bought the outfit, which she promptly wanted to wear every single day leading up to Halloween. And of course I was worried about ruining it (who knew a “spot clean only” ballerina tutu dress existed?! Seems silly to make anything in toddler sizes as “spot clean only”, but whatever). So we had nightly “recitals” leading up to the day, but never allowed outside, and we skipped the tights until that night.

And as the toddler-universe goes, she of course didn’t want to wear the outfit on actual Halloween. And being the amazing parents that Jesse and I are, we forced her to of course! Which is why the first couple pictures are still her beautiful self, but with a non-beautiful attitude. I should have gotten the crying in there, but just captured part of the stoicism.

Beatiful, but unhappy, Ballerina
Selah: “I don’t wanna go. I don’t like trick or treat”.

It did help that I bought her a ballerina doll as a surprise for that day – I somehow just knew the night wasn’t going to go smoothly, so I needed to have the backup on hand. It helped. That, and silly Daddy in his “outfit” that Mommy last minute purchased of funny glasses & eyebrows. Thank goodness! It was funny because I got it on a whim – it reminded me of this funny mask that my Dad wore each year trick or treating. And it seems whenever I catch scent of my own wonderful childhood memories, I like to rope Jesse into somehow recreating it with Selah. Good thing he’s an awesome daddy and a darn good sport! 😉

Silly Daddy, making me actually smile now!
Daddy helps lighten the mood!
Beautiful Girl with her Ballerina Dolly & Pumpkins
Anything in here?

So, we finally got her out the door with the small compromise of no tights – she hated those things. So, I figured – oh well – she can be freezing later if she wants to. And we were on our merry way to Ghost Village Road – the downtown Montecito area that every business from 3-6 on Halloween hands out candy at. It’s a great activity for the little ones, since it’s early in the day and there are a ton of things for them to be interested in.

And of course, after the first place, Selah was SOLD! Skepticism erased with one handful of candy. Halloween and trick-or-treating was the best thing ever after that. M&M’s? My favorite: “Look, Mommy…they give me CANDY!! Let’s go to another place too!”. And all of a sudden all the hassle getting out of the house melts away into the laughter of your child…

The first place, just getting the hang of things
Ballerina Backside
Following Dad and catching on
Daddy, carry me! I tiiiiired 🙂
Mommy helping me get into the spirit!

We also were able to meet up with a few friends – some from our small group, and one of my friends who owns a business in Montecito downtown…

With Auntie Linda at Shine
Following my friends
Trick or Treat with Small Group Friends
Much happier after the event

All in all, a holiday success. Now are a doling out the candy one piece each day if she eats her dinner. I think next year we’ll implement the “Switch Witch” – an idea from my neighbor. They choose three pieces they’d like, then leave their candy on the porch at bedtime that evening, where the “Switch Witch” comes and switches out the candy for a toy by morning. Seems like a good idea to me!